Top Ten Patriotic American Movies
1996’s Independence Day was the perfect combination of action, comedy, drama, patriotism, honor, loyalty, and love. It took several stories of many different people and combined them all for a film that had everyone walking away feeling like a better American than ever before. Even the speech by the fictional President, played by Bill Pullman, was so inspirational that it is still used today to motivate. ID4 was the type of movie that inspired people to cheer in the theaters when they saw it for the first time.
That is exactly what this country loves around this time of year. We love to celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks, BBQs, parades and parties with our families. Heading to the theater to cheer the killing of aliens, or loading up your favorite patriotic flick on your home television is the perfect way to spend your Independence Day. In honor of one of America’s most patriotic holidays, we give you the top ten patriotic films ever made. Where will ID4 rank on our list?
10. Top Gun
- Release Date: May 16, 1986
- Box Office: $356 million
- Starring: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt
- Summary: The ultimate guy movie is also one of the greatest American films about patriotism ever made because it gives us a taste of what life is like for the men who take to the sky to protect the rest of us on the ground. Top Gun is a great movie that does not do justice for the amount of talent you have to possess to do the things Tom Cruise did in the film.
9. Glory (1989)
- Release Date: February 16, 1990
- Box Office: $26.8 million
- Starring: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman
- Summary: Based on a true story, Glory tells the amazing story from the eyes of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, Matthew Broderick, of how the first military unit of the Union army made up of mostly African Americans fought to take it over. It pits Americans against each other but more importantly, it highlights the men fighting for the rights of this great country, even though the other side is fighting to enslave them. It does not get much more Patriotic than Glory.
- Release Date: April 2, 1970
- Box Office: $61.6 million
- Starring: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates, Karl Michael Vogler
- Summary: There haven’t been too many successful war films that have given us the story of a General who has had such an impact on the meaning of being a Patriot like Patton has done for the past 50 years. It will always remain one of the most patriotic movies ever made.
7. Forrest Gump
- Release Date: July 6, 1994
- Box Office: $677.9 million
- Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field, Mykelti Williamson
- Summary: Everyone loves a movie about an underdog overcoming the odds and becoming an American hero. Tom Hanks helped create one of the greatest American legends in the history of cinema. His slow Southern drawl and childish approach to the world around him made Forrest Gump someone the audience could relate to when it comes to some of the historic American events he influenced.
6. Apollo 13
- Release Date: June 30, 1995
- Box Office: $355.2 million
- Starring: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris
- Summary: For some reason, astronauts don’t garner enough respect from Americans outside of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Ron Howard did a great job of telling the story of a group of heroic astronauts to make the viewers feel a sense of patriotism that wasn’t expected from a space movie.
5. American Sniper
- Release Date: December 25, 2014
- Box Office: $547.4 million
- Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
- Summary: By now, it is obvious that Clint Eastwood is a great director but also, Bradley Cooper is a phenomenal actor. The two of them turned the story of Chris Kyle’s life as an American sniper into a blockbuster film. Although the movie is loosely based on the novel written by Chris, it still gives us the patriotic tale of a man who was watching the news one day and realized that his country needed his help.
4. Independence Day
- Release Date: July 4, 1996
- Box Office: $817.4 million
- Starring: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Margaret Colin, Robert Loggia, Harvey Fierstein, Randy Quaid
- Summary: As we said before, even though this movie was obviously fiction, it showed us the difference between pride and heroism. This film made us all proud of our country because, even if it was a movie, we still have people like the characters from this movie in our country who would give up their lives for America.
3. A Few Good Men
- Release Date: December 11, 1992
- Box Office: $243.2 million
- Starring: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, J.T. Walsh, James Marshall, Kiefer Sutherland, Cuba Gooding Jr, Noah Wyle
- Summary: If you haven’t seen this movie, you are not very Patriotic. It needs no introduction or explanation, this is one of those movies that everyone needs to watch before they die. It is hard to explain the level of brilliance it portrays.
2. The Patriot
- Release Date: June 30, 2000
- Box Office: $215.3 million
- Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs, Joely Richardson, Chris Cooper, Tom Wilkinson
- Summary: Really? The Patriot was the second most patriotic in movie history? Yep! The Patriot takes place during a time when America was still fighting for their independence from the British. It was during that time that many Americans figured out whether or not they were truly loyal to the crown and choices were made. By the end of the film, everyone wanted to grab an American flag and go running around the theater waving it like a crazy person in love with their country.
1. Saving Private Ryan
- Release Date: July 24, 1998
- Box Office: $481.8 million
- Starring: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Ed Burns, Tom Sizemore, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Paul Giamatti, Ted Danson, Bryan Cranston
- Box Office:
- Summary: Of all the movies on this list, this is hands down the most patriotic. It is a story of a group of soldiers who are sent on a crucial mission to extract Pvt Ryan from somewhere in Europe and bring him home to his mother, who recently lost three other sons. Steven Spielberg knows how to paint a picture and tell the whole story and that is exactly what he does here. During a time when the entire world was at war, this story makes us all feel more patriotic than any other film ever made.